A tasty side dish for spring – Sweet Potato Salad

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By ANGELA McRAE, The Shopper Kitchen

Potato salad is one of those foods that everybody has an opinion on. Some like it with more mustard and some with less. Some like it with chopped dill pickles, and others wouldn’t dream of making it without sweet pickle relish. Hard-boiled eggs go in some potato salads and not in others.

As a baked potato lover, I was happy when baked potato salad began showing up in grocery stores a few years ago, adding sour cream and bacon to the offerings that may now rightly be considered potato salad ingredients.

But one thing that I assumed was always a necessity in potato salad recipes was some variety of your basic white potato. Then one day, my aunt and I had lunch at a cute café on the square in Marietta, and one of the sides offered with our sandwiches was sweet potato salad. I was intrigued enough to try it, and to my delight, sweet potatoes were great in the potato salad. The sweetness was tempered by the celery and onion, and I wasn’t sure what else was in that potato salad, but I always remembered it.

One day last year, my dad sent me home with a big bag of sweet potatoes, a welcome gift since they’re a good source of fiber and Vitamins C and A. (A plain old sweet potato is also fat-free, according to the U.S. Sweet Potato Council, but if you can eat your sweet potatoes plain, well, we probably can’t be friends, but good for you.) So I baked sweet potatoes and sprinkled them with cinnamon and butter, and I also baked some sweet potato fries with garlic salt. Then I decided to try to recreate that sweet potato salad of my memories. I was so pleased with the result that I’ve been using sweet potatoes in my potato salad ever since. If you’re a potato salad fan, too, try making this one for some of your springtime celebrations.

Sweet Potato Salad

5 cups sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and cubed (about 3 very large sweet potatoes)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 large ribs celery, chopped fine

1 small onion, diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Place sweet potatoes in a large soup pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let potatoes boil for about 30 minutes, then lower heat and simmer for 30 more minutes. When potatoes are fully cooked, a sharp knife should easily pierce through the whole potato. Turn off heat, fill the pot with cold water, and let potatoes sit for a few minutes until they’re no longer hot to the touch. The skins will slide right off, and you can quickly chop the potatoes into cubes.

Once the potatoes are peeled and cubed, add them to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add chopped celery, onions, mayonnaise, and spices. Using a rubber spatula, lightly combine all ingredients until blended well. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld. Yields 6-8 servings.

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